|Publication number||US7509956 B2|
|Application number||US 10/891,505|
|Publication date||Mar 31, 2009|
|Filing date||Jul 15, 2004|
|Priority date||Jul 16, 2003|
|Also published as||US20050034729, WO2005009503A2, WO2005009503A3|
|Publication number||10891505, 891505, US 7509956 B2, US 7509956B2, US-B2-7509956, US7509956 B2, US7509956B2|
|Inventors||John F. Dombrowski|
|Original Assignee||Dombrowski John F|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (5), Classifications (31), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/487,286 filed Jul. 16, 2003. The entirety of that provisional application is incorporated herein by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to medical devices and anaesthesiology products, and particularly to an improved system for the secure inter-connection of tracheal tubes.
2. Background of the Technology
Endotracheal tubes are used regularly in hospitals around the world as an essential gas conduit when patients undergo anesthesia. The use of these devices has become widely accepted throughout the medical community and their design has become very standardized over the past twenty years with little change or improvement.
The distal end of the tracheal tube, that which projects outward from the patient, is commonly referred to as the machine end of the endotracheal tube. The machine end terminates in a connector for attachment to a breathing circuit or system. These endotracheal tube connectors have also become very standardized, and incorporate male-to-female conical tapers, that are intended to releasably but securely lock together relying on the friction fit of the tapered male-to-female connectors. While this friction fit connector allows ease of connection and disconnection it also permits the inadvertent disconnection of the breathing system from the tracheotomy tube. This inadvertent disconnection of the endotracheal tube from the breathing system during a surgical procedure is a well-recognized hazard that prior to the present invention was not well addressed in the medical community.
While attempts have been made to address the hazard of inadvertent disconnection of the endotracheal tube, the results have been largely unsuccessful. In addressing this issue, the medical profession refers to the hazard of inadvertent disconnection of the endotracheal tube in general terms in the ASTM standard F1590-95. In this publication, which is fully incorporated herein by reference, allowance is made for the addition of a mechanism to make a more secure attachment between the conical fittings, if so desired, suggesting a remedy in the form of retaining or locking devices such as hooks, lugs or studs. No specific design or guidance to arrive at a design is provided. An additional ASTM standard, F1243-89, which is fully incorporated herein by reference, makes reference to lugs, knobs or other projections that can be used to attach elastic bands to the connectors to resist accidental separation. For want of a more reliable means to releasably secure the tapered male-to-female connectors for endotracheal tubes, many hospitals have simply relied on this make-shift remedy of wrapping elastic bands around the connection.
More recently a new design for an endotracheal connector has been suggested by Sloan, U.S. Pat. No. 6,484,724. This device uses two concentric tapers to lock the endotracheal tube to the breathing system. The device of Sloan requires an entirely new design for the machine end of the endotracheal tube and therefore is incapable of being retrofitted to the existing worldwide inventory of endotracheal tubes and the endotracheal tubes that are currently in production. Further, the design of two concentric tapers provided by the Sloan device does nothing to remedy the fact that security of the connection is still solely reliant on a friction fit a male-to-female type connector. For this reason, an urgent need still exist in the medical art for a releasable means to ensure the security of currently used male-to-female connectors of the machine end of an endotracheal tube to a breathing system.
It is the general object of the present invention to provide a simple mechanical device which can be releasably attached to the inter-connected tubes in the proximity of the connectors to secure the connection and prevent the inadvertent disconnection of the tubes.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a universal locking device which facilitates the rapid assembly and releasable locking of connections between two tubes in a controlled, predictable manner.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a releasable connector locking device adapted to secure the machine end of an endotracheal tube to a breathing system.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an endotracheal tube having a releasable locking mechanism that secures the connection of the machine end of an endotracheal tube to a breathing system.
It is a further object of this invention to provide the releasable locking mechanism as a component of a kit that is provided in as sterile package for operating room use; the kit including at least one locking device of at least one size and configuration as well as endotracheal tubes of varying sizes with accompanying connectors for use with a breathing system.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a breathing system having a releasable connection locking device that secures the connection of the breathing system to the machine end of an endotracheal tube.
The present invention is described by the following detailed description and the accompanying figures of a non-limiting example of a releasable mechanical device for securing the machine end of an endotracheal tube to a breathing system. It is understood that the present invention is not limited to securing such connections but can be easily applied to releaseably securing any tube connector to a corresponding receiving connector without departing from the concept of the invention.
As best shown in
The present invention can be used to provide a releasable locking device to protect against inadvertent disconnection of any two hoses connected together. The following description of the device in combination with an breathing system connected to an endotracheal tube is provided as a non-limiting example. The connections between the breathing system (56) and the endotracheal tube (16) can employ a variety of male-to-female type connectors. The breathing system (56), as is well known in the art with its connector and necessary tubular or hose connections (a breathing system assembly) can vary from the following description without departing from the concept of the present invention. Similarly, the endotracheal tube with its connector and included elements (an endotracheal tube assembly) can vary from the provided description without departing from the present concept.
In the following example, the connection is made between the first end (machine end) (14) of a first tubular structure (16) (an endotracheal tube) to the first end (20) of a second tubular structure (breathing system tube) (20). The first connector (26) is configured to have a first connector female end (28) and a first connector male end (30), which are connected by a first connector central body (32), all of which share a common first connector lumen (34) through which gases can pass into, through, and out of the first connector (26). Circumferentially disposed around at least a portion of the first connector central body is a first connector retaining structure (36). Preferably this retaining structure (36) is configured as a complete ring or flange that encircles the central body (32) although partial encirclement of the central body will suffice. The first connector male end (30) is sized and configured to snugly fit within the lumen (38) of the first tubular structure (16), which in the present example is the lumen of the machine end of an endotracheal tube. The first connector female end (28) is sized and configured to receive a male end (40) of a second connector (42). This second connector (42) is secured to the first end (20) of the second tubular structure (22). In the present example, this second tubular member (22) is the tube or hose that extends from the breathing system for the purpose of connection to an endotracheal tube. Similar to the operational relationship between the first connector (26) and the first tubular structure (16), described above, the second connector (42) and the second tubular structure (22) can be releasably connected such that the user can, if desired, disconnect the first connector (26) or second connector (42) from their respective first or second tubular structures (16, 20). It is also within the concept of the present invention that the first or second connectors (26, 42) can be fixedly connected to their respective first or second tubular structures (16, 20). Such a connection can be accomplished as part of the manufacturing process of either the first tubular structure or the second tubular structure. For example, as shown in an alternative embodiment in
In operation, the first end (12) of device (10) is positioned such that the first end opening (44), which is defined in the first end (12), is sized and configured to be positioned at least partially around the male end (30) of the first connector (26) and interposed between the the first connector retaining structure (36) and the first end of the first tubular structure (16). The first end (12) of the device (10) can be configured to provide an annular ring around the male end (30) of the first connector (26) and as such, can be retained in its position as sandwiched between the first connector (26) and the first tubular structure (16). Alternatively, the first end opening (44) can be configured as an open ended or partial annular ring having a “U” or “modified-U” shape that is sized and configured to releasably snap fit around the male end (30) of the first connector (26). If so configured with a “U” shape or “modified-U” shape, the first end (12) of the device (10) can be slipped into the operating position interposed between the first connector (26) retaining structure (36) and the first tubular structure (16) and be retained in that operating position by a locking member (46) located on the device (10). In the exemplary embodiment shown in
When in operation, the second end (18) of device (10) is positioned such that the second end opening (50), which is defined in the second end (18), is sized and configured to be positioned at least partially around the second tubular structure (22) and immediately adjacent and in contact with the retaining structure (52) of the second connector (42). This retaining structure (52) of the second connector 42) is, similar to the retaining structure (36) of the first connector (26), configured as an annular ring that at least partially surrounds the second tubular structure (22). The retaining structure (52) of the second tubular structure (22) is positioned along the length of the second connector at a position proximate to the male end (40) of the second connector (42). The precise position of the retaining structure (52) of the second connector (22) is generally standardized for breathing systems. For this reason, the size of the device (10) and particularly, the length or span of the bridging member (24) of the device (10) should be sufficient to promote a snug fit for the first end (12) of the device against the retaining structure (36) of the first connector (26) and a snug fit of the second end (18) of the device (10) against the retaining structure (52) of the second connector (42).
The resilient character of the material used in the manufacture of the device (10) permits the user to manually increase the distance separating the first end (12) form the second end (18) of the device (10). By manually increasing that distance, the device (10) is temporarily configured to easily slide into its operating position. The intermediate configuration of the device during the time when the user is moving it into the operating position is shown in
When positioned in the releasably locked operating position, the device (10), as shown in
The above described example of the device (10) and its operation in releasably securing the connection of two tubular structures and their respective connectors is not limiting to the broad concept of the invention. As shown in
As earlier indicated, the material of the device (10) can be any strong, resilient material that provides the necessary shape memory to permit the device to be distorted during the assembly and disassembly process on the tubular connectors. The device can be manufactured by any known means such as stamping, machining, molding, or any other method of manufacture adaptable to the structuring of the of the device (10).
The device of the present invention can be provided to the user as a component of a tubular assembly, such as an endotracheal tube. It is within the concept of this invention to provide an endotracheal tube having a releasable locking device for ensuring security of tubular connections. The structure and manufacture of endotracheal tubes is well described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,761,171 issued to Toti et al. on Jul. 13, 2004 and in U.S. Pat. No. 6,055,984 issued to Brain on May 2, 2000, the complete disclosures of which are fully incorporated herein by reference.
It is further within the concept of the present invention to provide a breathing system (56), as represented in
The present invention can also be provided as an individual locking device that can be provided in different sizes and configurations as a lone item or as part of a kit that can be employed with any tubular connection assembly.
The concept of the present invention is not limited to tubular connections related to the movement of gases through connected tubular conduits but can be applied to the security of any tubular connection for the passage of any fluid.
The above description is provided as non-limiting examples of the present invention, which is limited only by the claims attached hereto.
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|1||ASTM Standard F 1243-89 (Reapproved 1995), "Standard Specification for Tracheal Tube Connectors", An American National Standard, ASTM International, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, vol. 13.01:565-567 (1990).|
|2||ASTM Standard F 1590-95, "Standard Specification for Tracheostomy Tube Connectors", An American National Standard, ASTM International, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, vol. 13.01:942-943 (1995).|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7775562 *||May 21, 2008||Aug 17, 2010||Nitta Moore Company||Quick connector|
|US9433769 *||Dec 11, 2013||Sep 6, 2016||Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc.||Line separation protector|
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|US20120055471 *||Sep 5, 2010||Mar 8, 2012||Slp Ltd.||Valve accessory for aiding speech during non-invasive respiratory therapy|
|US20150157845 *||Dec 11, 2013||Jun 11, 2015||Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc.||Line separation protector|
|U.S. Classification||128/202.27, 403/335, 128/207.16, 128/200.26, 439/368, 403/341, 128/207.15, 24/563, 403/338, 285/308, 439/369, 285/319, 403/286, 285/320, 128/207.14, 403/294|
|International Classification||A61M16/00, A61M16/04, A61M, A62B9/04, A61M16/08|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10T403/66, Y10T403/648, Y10T403/64, Y10T403/50, A61M16/0816, Y10T403/553, Y10T24/44923, A61M16/0488|
|European Classification||A61M16/08D, A61M16/04M|
|Nov 12, 2012||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Mar 31, 2013||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|May 21, 2013||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20130331